Friday, December 30, 2016

12 Days of Anime: The 2016 "Almosts"

As I finally make up my top 2016 lists (I mean, it wouldn't be fair to do it before all of the shows finished airing this week!) there are also titles that I immediately know aren't top-of material and yet, I'm still fond of them in some ways.

We had shows that set out with grand plans to tell big stories and yet, just faltered in the end and stumbled over characterization as well. Kiznaiver did a lot of the first and some of the second while Concrete Revolutio did an equal amount of both (I find that I like ConRevo's first cour better than it's second and largely because of how hard it dropped the ball on Kikko and Emi).

Then we have the shows that had some pacing issues. Snow White with the Red Hair/Akagami no Shirayuki-hime suffered from being centered around a weaker arc and My Hero Academia really needed two cours from the start since the pacing moved at a snail's pace some weeks. I suppose Erased/Boku Daki ga Inai Machi also falls under this category, as Bobduh put it "it was two-thirds of a show that would easily make the top ten welded to one-third of a show I’d have dropped in ten minutes."

But I still have a fondness for a lot of these shows, they aren't surefire buys for me but they're likely buys. And, if a show didn't make either this list or tomorrow's list then I'll probably never remember to buy it!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Why Fairy Tales Keep Getting Stranger

I'm a fan of fairy tales, not the overly-tired retellings that pass for fairy tales in YA but actual stories about the strange and the prices it exacts upon it's characters. I have lots of opinions on fairy tales in general but the most pertinent one to this posting is that people simply aren't really making them, I can go an entire year and find only one or two amongst ALL of the media I consume.

I suppose people aren't doing it because it's hard. Fairy tales are full of weird turns and odd twists of logic which is something I'd generally only use to describe the worst books I read these days. I started thinking about all of this when I heard that Edgar Allen Poe wrote what's basically a 1001 Nights fanfic (called The 1002nd Night I believe) where Scheherazade spends her 1002nd night telling her husband strange tales of the modern day, so strange that he executes her for it!

I believe that this would be called "the opposite of a fix-fic".

But following the notion that fairy tales should be strange and unknowable to at least a degree, then yes Flip Flappers is absolutely a fairy tale. I was hesitant to call it one at first (wondering if I was overly influenced by it's cute ending sequence with fairy tale images) but the shifting conflict and worlds of the final few episodes convinced me that, while there's really no other story to compare it to in this regard, Flip Flappers is a strange fairy tale of courage, determination, and love. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

12 Days of Anime: When Strength Is Many Things

Editorial note: These thoughts were inspired by the first three episodes of Izetta the Last Witch but do not necessarily reflect the entire show given that I wasn't interested enough to finish it. 

A few years ago now there was quite a bit of discussion about "strong female characters" and what this entailed. People still talk about the idea now of course but there was some intense discourse as people debated, does this mean physically strong? Like a male character? What does "like a male character" even MEAN anyway? There has been some general agreements since then; "Strong Female Character" (when used in a positive, non-ironic sense, it can totally be used in a negative, ironic sense as well) means a capable female character who can have any number of traits.

But I would like to add an addendum onto this idea: you can only have a truly "strong female character" if they are also written in a setting that will recognize their strengths.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Changing Thoughts on Adaptations

Hi y'all, sorry that these posts have gotten away from me so badly. As usual I've been busier than I'd like in the rest of my life and it's taken a toll on my blogging time. Honestly it's taken a toll on everything this year, especially my manga-reading and anime-watching free time. I've gotten pickier than ever about what I spend my time watching and reading and it's really made me reconsider how I feel about adaptations of works, both those that I've already seen and those I haven't.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Family Friendly Anime from 2016

When I was convincing a friend to watch Yuri on Ice she asked if it was safe for work and I said "yeah it's fine! .....wait SHIT NO, HOT SPRINGS". My friend did watch the show but prudently decided to not try and watch it during work because here in America we still have an awful lot of nudity taboos. And that's one of the hardest things about recommending anime to very casual watchers, there are so many little moments like that (and in YoI those hot spring moments are pretty small) that by now I don't bat an eye at (well, our nudity taboos are a bit, puritanical I'll say) but it's totally something you have to think about when recommending!

So dear readers let me help you out: a few different shows from this past year that you could possibly reach a broader audience with, although slightly different audiences each time.